(by Simon Daish)
Romania returns to the top after 12 year wait,gold medal secured
The Women’s Championship Division title has gone to Romania for the first time in 12 years after the team of Elizabeta Samara, Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Bernadette Szocs defied the odds to claim a dramatic 3-2 victory over top seeds Germany at the Liebherr 2017 ITTF-European Championships on Sunday 17th September.
Two years ago at the 2015 European Championships Romania missed out on the top step of the medals podium, suffering a 0-3 defeat at the hands of Germany, but this time around the two sides were involved in a much closer battle.
Both teams had enjoyed positive campaigns in Luxembourg and fully justified their positions as the top two seeded sides in the Women’s Championship Division by reaching the final.
Elizabeta Samara has been one of the most consistent players at the tournament playing a hugely important role in Romania’s journey throughout the course of the event, and she looked at her best at the start of the title match claiming a powerful win over Han Ying (9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7) in the opening encounter.
“It was a fantastic match; very difficult. We expected that, there was no surprise in that department. I was prepared for the long rallies against Han Ying”, Elizabeta Samara.
The Germany team looked for a response and it didn’t take long to arrive as Shan Xiaona stepped up to the table to beat Daniela Monteiro Dodean in straight games (6-11, 6-11, 7-11) to bring the scoreboard level.
Next up was the third fixture of the match which saw young German star Nina Mittelham, 20, take on a player two years her senior Bernadette Szocs. While Nina Mittelham was able to do some damage in the third end it was the Romanian came through the tie the happier player (11-5, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6) leaving Germany trailing once again.
For full article, please click here